Ten Commandments on Clutter

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Low-Maintenance Living

I. STOP PROCRASTINATING: Stop putting off until tomorrow what you can do today, especially since you know you probably won’t do it tomorrow anyway.

Decide to decide what you are going to do with the next piece of clutter that you pickup. And stop stashing clutter all over the place for now.

II. QUIT MAKING EXCUSES: Stop making tiresome excuses for your clutter. You are only fooling yourself.

III. USE IT OR LOSE IT: If you’re not using it, get rid of it. Period.

IV. LEARN TO LET GO: As lives change, needs change, but somehow clutter accumulates with no regard for our changed perspective.

Clutter that's merely taking up valuable space and giving you nothing in return should be tossed or given away.

V. BE A GIVER: Give things away, right away. Don’t wait until you die to give away china that you don’t use now while you’re alive.

Every garment in your closet that you never wear could be worn by a less fortunate person. Friends, relatives, and charities all appreciate a giving person far more than they do a pack rat.

VI. SET LIMITS: Limit the amount of space you allocate to house your clutter. Closets, bookcases, filing cabinets—all should be limited. Just because one space fills up doesn’t mean you should find or buy more space for more clutter. It means that it’s time to weed out your current accumulation so you can reclaim the space you already have.

VII. USE THE IN and OUT INVENTORY RULE: If something new comes in, something old goes out. Apply this rule to everything from toys and clothes to books and magazines. Stick to it, and you’ll always be in control of your clutter.

VIII. LESS IS MORE: The less clutter you have, the more time, money, and energy you will have. People will stop nagging you, and you’ll be under less stress and be more productive in the end.

IX. KEEP EVERYTHING IN ITS PLACE: Find a place for everything and keep everything in its place. (The blender does not belong in the bedroom and the mail does not belong in the bathroom.)

X. COMPROMISE: Compromise when you are organizing your clutter. Stop letting your perfectionism keep you from doing or letting someone else help you dispense with your clutter. Functioning efficiently is more important than functioning perfectly. Remember that perfect is not the same as excellent, and sometimes good is good enough.

I know you can conquer and control your clutter. You can get rid of what you don’t need, and organize what you can’t bear to part with so that you can spend your time living life instead of caring for your clutter. All in all, it’s a good life when you come out from under the clutter!

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